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Grade-Level Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)

Assessment for Measuring Academic Ability and Readiness for Instruction

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Age 4: In-person (one-on-one), Chicago and Evanston, IL locations.

K - Grade 1: Online (small group, remote administration)

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Friday, Saturday, and Sunday test dates are being added throughout the year. See the Events calendar for currently available test dates.

Fees:

Age 4: CogAT In-person testing: $200

K - Grade 1: CogAT Remote Testing: $100

Purpose of Assessment

To help create the best match between a student's academic abilities and the learning environment, some Center for Talent Development (CTD) courses have admission requirements. Standardized test scores are one method families can use to demonstrate readiness to succeed in the selected course.

CTD offers assessments to give you insights into your child's academic abilities. The testing done by CTD is not a general psychological evaluation. It provides a "snapshot" of a student's academic achievement and school readiness.

Eligibility

Children age 4 through grade 1 may register for grade-level CogAT testing. Students who are age 4 will meet one-on-one with a CTD tester and take the CogAT screener, which is a shorter test than the full battery. Children in K or Grade 1 will take the CogAT online administered by a remote proctor from CTD. For remote testing details, see the Technology Requirements section.

Students in grades 3 through 9 are eligible to test on an above-grade-level version of the CogAT. You can visit the above-grade-level CogAT testing page for more information.

Contact ctd-assessment@northwestern.edu with questions about registering for the CogAT.

Deciding When to Test

For very young children, we recommend that parents wait until their child is showing some familiarity with letters, numbers, and school learning. Since the test is given on a computer or tablet, students must also be proficient on the technology that will be used for the test.

CTD does offer courses during the academic year and during the summer that that do not require test scores for participation, so please check the course description for the course to which you are applying for any eligibility requirements This will help you determine what is needed to complete the application.

Please note that successful completion of an open-enrollment course, such as the Online Family Program, does not qualify a student to enroll in future CTD courses as a pre-qualified participant. Students who complete a CTD open-enrollment course will be required to apply as a new student with test scores or an admission portfolio applicant when applying for courses with eligibility criteria.

Registration Process, Dates, and Fees

Because of the requirements of the testing and the number of assessments we administer, there are limited testing days and times available. If you cannot find a date that meets your needs, please contact ctd-assessment@northwestern.edu to discuss options.

Please check the CTD Events calendar for scheduled test dates.

Cost for Testing

The fee is $200 for one-on-one, in-person testing for students age 4. Remote, small-group testing for students K through grade 1 is $100. Fees are paid via credit card during the registration process.

Important Information Before You Register

To register for CogAT testing, you will need to create a new account in MyCTD, which is CTD's online system, or login to your existing account. After you create a student profile or select a currently existing student profile, click "Register for Testing".

If you need to change or cancel your appointment, you will need to call 847/467-1575 or e-mail ctd-assessment@northwestern.edu and a CTD staff member will assist you. Please see the section below on Changes, Cancellations, and Refunds for related policies.

Students in K or Grade 1: Please note the following before registering for a remote CogAT test:

  • To participate in remote CogAT assessment, the student must have a parent or guardian present at all times during the testing session. 
  • Testing requires an iPad or Chromebook (see Technology Requirements section for details). A second device (phone, laptop, tablet, etc.) needs to be available to host the Zoom video session.
  • Families must provide headphones for the student to use during the test. 
  • This test experience is designed for students who can work independently on the technology with minimal guidance or assistance.  Because of the virtual environment, the proctor from CTD will have limited ability to assist students and families with technology issues.
  • The student must be able to stay on task for the duration of the test. The full test battery takes approximately 2-2.5 hours. There will be two short breaks between sections.
  • If the student is not technology proficient or has never participated  in an organized school or class environment, this format for testing may not be optimal.
Accommodations

If your child has an identified disability that requires accommodation or if you have questions about the test environment and your child's needs, contact CTD for assistance. Please call 847/467-1575 or e-mail ctd-assessment@northwestern.edu to speak with a staff member. 

Technology Requirements

Please read the following information regarding technology requirements for CogAT testing:

Students Age 4

Testing will be done on a CTD provided iPad that runs iOS 12 or 13. This test experience is designed for students who can work comfortably on the technology with minimal redirection or assistance from the adult tester.

If the student is not technology proficient or has never participated in an organized school or class environment, this test may not be optimal. If technology use is of concern, we recommend the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (KTEA).

Students in K or Grade 1

  • Testing requires
    • an iPad that runs iOS 12 or 13 (9 minimum) OR
    • a Chromebook with Chrome OSs 65 minimum, 78+ suggested
  • A second device (phone, laptop, tablet, etc.) needs to be available to host the Zoom session.
  • The user must download the secure testing app or use secure testing URL.
  • Families must provide headphones for the student to use during the test. 

This test experience is designed for students who can work independently on the technology with minimal guidance or assistance.  Because of the virtual environment, the proctor from CTD will have limited ability to assist students and families with technology issues.

If the student is not technology proficient or has never participated in an organized school or class environment, this format for testing may not be optimal. If technology use is of concern and you are in the Chicago area, we recommend the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (KTEA).

Changes, Cancellations, and Refund Policies

If you need to change a test registration, you will need to call 847/467-1575 or e-mail ctd-assessment@northwestern.edu to change your registration. Once a test session has been confirmed, a $25 change fee will apply for remote testing and a $75 change fee will apply for in-person testing.

If CTD needs to change or cancel a test date or time (tester illness, system maintenance, etc.), you will be contacted as soon as possible via phone or email. A CTD staff member will work with you to reschedule the test. If a test cannot be rescheduled, a refund will be provided.  

Any request to cancel a registration and receive a full refund must be made in writing a minimum of 72 hours prior to the scheduled test date. E-mail the request to ctd-assessment@northwestern.edu. Cancellations made within 72 hours of a test date, but before the date of testing, are subject to the processing fee noted above.

No shows and test day cancellations are not eligible for any refund.

Refunds may take up to eight weeks to process.

Contact CTD Assessment

For more information and assistance with selecting the correct test for your child, contact the CTD admissions and pathways advising office at ctd-assessment@northwestern.edu.

What is the CogAT Test?

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